If you’ve been following CultureMap this spring, you know we celebrated the stars of San Antonio’s restaurants and bars ahead of our annual Tastemaker Awards.
After a series of stories highlighting this year’s nominees and a heated Best New Restaurant tournament, it’s finally time to reveal the winners.
On Tuesday evening, we gathered with the nominees and the San Antonio community at The Espee for our first-ever local tasting and awards ceremony. Guests mingled, mingle and sampled the participants’ delicious dishes ahead of the awards ceremony, where this year’s winners were revealed.
Our 2022 CultureMap San Antonio Tastemaker Awards winners are a perfect representation of the city’s vibrant, eclectic and delicious food scene. Meet them below and join us for a final toast to the Tastemakers.
Restaurant of the year: Smokehouse 2M
The force behind this barbecue was a backyard grill long before the James Beard Awards noticed its fire. And that family spirit still shines in the kitchen of pitmaster Esaul Ramos. The holy trinity of brisket, sausage and ribs is made with just the right amount of bark and bite, no doubt perfected over years of dating. The sides are a pachanga – macaroni with chicharrones, pickled nopales and Mexican street corn.
Chef of the Year: Jason Dady, Garden
No San Antonio chef has explored a wider range of flavors than local hero Jason Dady. Since opening his first restaurant in his twenties, the busy restaurateur has experimented with Spanish tapas (Bin 555), Asian fusion (Umai Mi) and Tuscan Italian (Tre Trattoria) in a city not often recognized for its taste. cosmopolitan. His newest venture, Jardín, planted in the San Antonio Botanical Garden, basks in Mediterranean vegetarian dishes. As always, his encyclopedic palace is there.
Bar of the year: Bar 1919
There’s a reason bartenders keep coming back to the heady days around Prohibition. It was a time when cocktails had undertones before being assaulted by a debauchery of technicolor alcohol. Drink like a grown-up at this Blue Star Arts Complex speakeasy where original creations stand up to the tried-and-true concoctions of yesteryear. And enjoy the polished atmosphere – a reminder that drinking can still be an elegant affair.
Best New Restaurant: Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar
New from Sichuan House, one of the city’s most famous Chinese restaurants, Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar aims to integrate the diversity and innovation of Szechuan cuisine into a modern American-style dining experience. Dashi, which means “great entertainer” in Chinese, is an apt nickname for this bustling gathering place where familiar Chinese dishes meet more adventurous ingredients in a host of family dishes.
Best Brewery: Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Co.
This long-standing distillery is just as adept at making beer as it is spirits. Its High Wheel range offers a quartet of easy drinks, mostly inspired by classic European styles like Belgian saisons or English porters. While respectful of tradition, the team are comfortable mixing things up with new trends, like the must-have 56, a West Coast-style IPA with notes of citrus, tropical fruit and solid pine. .
Brandon Watson and Chantal Rice contributed to this story.